McBride dares state to appeal his acquittal

2013-04-03 00:00

“I DARE the state to appeal against my acquittal,” former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride said yesterday.

He was last week acquitted by the high court in Pretoria on charges of drunk driving and attempts to pervert justice arising from an accident in December 2006.

He appealed a magistrate’s court conviction and five-year sentence.

He confirmed he is considering legal action.

“I believe in procedure and I will follow the correct procedure and contact the right people and organisations to decide whether I take the issue further and how that should be done,” he said.

Ruling for McBride, Judge Cynthia Pretorius said the state had failed to prove any of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt and that the evidence of three former colleagues of McBride’s should not have been accepted.

They were “confessed liars” who first said McBride had not been drunk and later testified that he was drunk, apparently in a bid to prevent their own prosecution on attempted murder charges in another case.

McBride said when he was found guilty he immediately thought it was a miscarriage of justice.

“I thought to myself: ‘There’s a long road ahead, but it is only a matter of time before the truth comes out’.”

The trial magistrate, Peet Johnson, ignored evidence that was in his favour.

“It was on record that I did not drink anything at the function before the accident.

“Two independent witnesses confirmed that. One of them sat next to me for 40 minutes and confirmed that I didn’t drink anything.”

He said all the eyewitnesses at the crash scene corroborated each other’s evidence.

“It comes down to my conviction resting on the evidence of three ‘self-confessed liars’ who were regarded as unreliable by judge Pretorius.”

Asked about his future plans, McBride said it was “early days”, but he is currently self-employed as a business and risk consultant, mostly for overseas clients.

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